In many cases black money is invested in properties in the names of others, even though benefits are enjoyed by the investor concealing his beneficial ownership in his tax returns.
The Government had earlier amended Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to make the law stronger.
A new reward scheme titled “Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018” has been issued by the Income Tax Department.
It aims to obtain people’s participation in the Income Tax Department’s efforts to unearth black money and to reduce tax evasion.
It encourages people to give information about benami transactions and properties as well as income earned on such properties by such hidden investors and beneficial owners.
Under this Scheme,a person can get reward up to Rs. One crore for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the Joint or Additional Commissioners of Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) in Investigation Directorates of Income Tax Department.
The information can be about benami transactions and properties as well as proceeds from such properties which are actionable under Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.
Foreigners will also be eligible for such reward.
Identity of the persons giving information will not be disclosed and strict confidentiality shall be maintained.
FACT # 3
Why in news? The Centre has decided not to file any “counter-affidavit” on Article 35A, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition.
Article 35A was incorporated into the Constitution by an order of the then President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet in 1954.
Article 35Aof the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
The article defines the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or
conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects—
employment under the State Government
acquisition of immovable property in the State
settlement in the State
right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide
PIL against Article 35A:
The petition was filed by ‘We The Citizens’.
It said Article 35A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens.”
A second petition was filed by Jammu and Kashmir resident Charu Wali Khanna, challenged Article 35A for protecting certain provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, which restrict the basic right to property if a native woman marries a man not holding a permanent resident certificate.